DHARAMSHALA: Tibetans in-exile on Saturday celebrated the 108th anniversary of Tibetan Independence Day in Dharamshala.
To commemorate the 108th anniversary of the declaration of Tibetan Independence Day the Students for Free Tibet (SFT, India) held an event ‘Raise Tibetan Nation Flag’ in Mcleodganj, Dharamshala on Saturday.
“On the 13th of February, 1913 the 13th Dalai Lama declared Tibetan independence in the declaration of the “Proclamation of Independence” and since then Tibetans mark February 13th as an important day in Tibet’s history to educate people on the significance of Tibet’s independent past,” said Rinzin Choedon, national-director, Students for Free Tibet (SFT).
“In history, this is a symbolic day for Tibetans all over the world. Celebrating Independence Day for any nation, particularly those who are under illegal occupation, like Tibet, right now under Chinese occupation, is a form of protest. That is why we are here to celebrate,” said Rinzin.
Condemning China for its repression, she said, “Despite, more than six decades of China’s futile exercise to erase Tibetan history they are not successful to erase our past. Tibet will remain an independent country and that’s the message we want to give to the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).”
Many Tibetan activists gathered at the main square of Mcleodganj to commemorate the day.
“Our goal here is to spread hope that we have done it before, like in the past and we will do it in present times. The Chinese have occupied our country, Tibet. We want to take our nation back. China is a very, very big nation, powerful nation, but we are like peppers in the eye, pebbles in their shoes, and step by step we will take back our glorious Tibet,” said Tenzin Pasang, an SFT activist.
The activists also displayed the treaty which was signed during the Shimla convention in 1913-1914 concerning the status of Tibet negotiated by representatives of the Republic of China, Tibet and the United Kingdom.
Tibet was occupied by China in March 1959. Since 2009, over 155 Tibetans have set themselves on fire inside Tibet in protest of China’s repression and occupation.
Students for a Free Tibet work in solidarity with the Tibetan people in their struggle for freedom and independence. They are a chapter-based network of young people and activists around the world.